I am sitting at my computer in my comfortable home weeping over children I will never see, smell, or touch.
I am thinking how the decisions facing me in life are should I go to the grocery store now with kids in tow or wait until I can go alone later tonight. And halfway around the world a mama is wishing she could do ANYTHING with her daughter, wondering if she will ever see her, hold her, again.
Should I wash dishes and do laundry or be lazy while some of my kids take a trampoline break from homeschooling while my other kids are sitting in a classroom, protected and learning? Meanwhile 270 girls taken, snatched, kidnapped. All at once.
53 back home trying to escape the memories of terror. 223 still missing.
Should spend $50 on that one text book for my daughter for next year? While 223 girls are still missing, some sold for the price tag of $12. Sold into slavery. I cannot fathom the fear they are experiencing.
I. AM. UNDONE.
There are stories like this all over the world every day but for some reason, this day, my heart is crying out for these children and I cannot do anything but sob and type. And pray.
I cried out to God for help; I cried out to God to hear me. When I was in distress, I sought the Lord; at night I stretched out untiring hands and my soul refused to be comforted. I remembered you, O God, and I groaned; I mused, and my spirit grew faint. "Selah" You kept my eyes from closing; I was too trouble to speak.
God will not let my spirit rest in thinking of the precious girls. I imagine their fear, physical pain, confusion. I wonder how young some of them are.
I. AM. UNDONE.
I thought about the former days, the years of long ago; I remembered my songs in the night. My heart mused and my spirit inquired: "Will the Lord reject forever? Has his promise failed for all time? Has God forgotten to be merciful? Has he in anger withheld his compassion?" "Selah"
How do I go back to my normal suburban, PBJ makin' mom routine? How do I not absolutely freeze in my tracks for these families? These 270 precious girls. Despair threatens my heart for them.
Then I thought, "To this I will appeal: the years of the right hand of the Most High." I will remember the deeds of the LORD; yes, I will remember your miracles of long ago. I will meditate on all your works and consider all your mighty deeds. Your ways, O God, are holy. What god is so great as our God? You are the God who performs. miracles; you display your power among the peoples. With your mighty arm you redeemed your people, the descendants of Jacob and Joseph. "Selah" The waters saw you, O God, the waters saw you and writhed; the very depths were convulsed. The clouds poured down water, the skies resounded with thunder; your arrows flashed back and forth. Your thunder was heard in the whirlwind, your lightning lit up the world; the earth trembled and quaked. Your path led through the sea, your way through the mighty waters, though your footprints were not seen. You led your people like a flock by the hand of Moses and Aaron.
The soothing balm of these words has calmed me but not released me. I am held captive today by the thoughts of these girls. And I am praying that God will too hold you captive to cry out to Him on their behalf. On behalf of their mothers and fathers. To show the power and glory of God to the men who have taken them without a thought to their humanity.
I wish this were an isolated event. A one time deal. It may be larger in scale but it is far from rare. Atlanta is #13 in the WORLD for human trafficking. Visit one of these links for more information on this story or to sign petitions to President Jonathan of Nigeria and to other officials.
Take action to #BringBackOurGirls
Nigerians have been holding mass protests this week calling on President Goodluck Jonathan to deploy every means possible to find the girls. You can join the international call to action to bring back the girls by supporting two petitions that have been building momentum:
- A Change.org petition to President Jonathan at http://chn.ge/1ioL496
- A TakePart petition to Nigerian officials and U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry athttp://bit.ly/1rUgsPa
You can learn more about the kidnappings in these articles in the NY Times athttp://nyti.ms/1rSD7eZ or in the New Yorker at http://nyr.kr/1mZgi9F
To learn more about this problem and how communities are fighting against it, we highly recommend "Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide" at http://www.amightygirl.com/half-the-sky and the accompanying documentary, for ages 13 and up, at http://www.amightygirl.com/half-the-sky-documentary
The excellent film, "Girl Rising," also explores the challenges faced by many girls in developing countries at http://www.amightygirl.com/girl-rising
To learn about several organizations working to end sex trafficking, visit Half the Sky's resource page at http://bit.ly/1lEYjTS